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Message to the Campus Community

Dear Morehouse Community and Friends:

Greetings from our snow covered Morehouse College campus!

The winter of 2011 is one that we will remember for many decades to come. The campus is quiet with less than one third of our students having returned before Sunday evening’s storm. Fortunately, our resident directors and assistants were in place, food service is operating, security is on duty and other senior administrators are on hand to supervise and lend a hand to ensure our students’ well being.

The storm has disrupted our early semester processes, but we will begin registration on Tuesday, January 18th (the day after King Holiday) and classes will commence on Wednesday, January 19th. Other details about our academic schedule will be provided by Provost Weldon Jackson.

I’d like to express appreciation to the staff and administrators that have done a terrific job under challenging circumstances. We especially appreciate the extra efforts of our food service vendors, Sodexo and Jackmont Companies, as well as all of our campus service providers, during this challenging period.

As the First Lady and I walked around campus Tuesday evening, we found the students in good spirits and well fed (perhaps a new addition to our “Five Wells”). We also spoke to staff who have been on campus since Sunday, sleeping in available campus rooms to ensure that they could serve a 7 a.m. breakfast each day.

In addition to studying and conducting an epic snow ball battle on the football field with Spelman and CAU participating, our students filled the time wisely by making sandwiches that were sent to stranded passengers at the Greyhound bus station in downtown Atlanta. Indeed, Mayor Kasim Reed thanked the men of Morehouse publicly in his press conference on Wednesday.

The Council of Presidents of the Atlanta University Center has spoken to the Mayor and expressed vigorously our expectation that our local streets surrounding campus will be given priority treatment for plowing and sanding so that we can get back to normal this weekend. I can imagine that those of you who reside in cities that are accustomed to this weather are surprised and amused by what Atlanta is experiencing. I can only say that all are working hard and that everyone is learning important lessons for the future.

Before I conclude, I’d like you all to be aware of an exciting event which you will hear more about in the days ahead. The U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will conduct a town hall meeting on the Morehouse campus along with alumnus, trustee and award winning filmmaker Spike Lee. The town hall will promote President Obama’s Teach Campaign aimed at dramatically increasing the number of African American male teachers in the nation’s classrooms.

Currently, the U.S. hires over 180,000 teachers a year. Only 4,500 of them are African American men. Although the Black student population is 17%, only 7% of all teachers are African American. Morehouse is in a position to impact this national phenomenon for the good. Stay tuned.

We will begin a great semester next week. I look forward to seeing you all in just a month as we celebrate our Founder’s Week.

Please continue to check the website for additional updates at www.morehouse.edu.

Sincerely,

President Robert M. Franklin

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